EliteXC: Uprising Preview

EliteXC: Uprising emanates from Honolulu, Hawaii this Saturday, September 15th. The show was originally scheduled for pay-per-view but will now be aired live on Showtime. That’s a nice change. EliteXC really needs to establish itself and their fighters before they ask viewers to pay for their events. Uprising features the title defense of EliteXC’s only title, no heavyweights, and the hottest female in MMA.

Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Robbie Lawler (Middleweight Title Fight)

Ninja captured the EliteXC Middleweight Title by knocking out Joey Villasenor on the Shamrock-Baroni undercard and seemed genuinely stoked to win it. Ninja has fought the best in the world, losing split decisions to both Dan Henderson and Rampage while in PRIDE. He trains out of Chute Boxe, thus endearing himself to me. Ninja is the younger brother of Shogun and fighting in the main event of this card is a good way to get out from his brother’s shadow.

Robbie Lawler has also faced a slew of talented fighters. Once touted as the next great fighter of the UFC, Lawler suffered a career setback but has since defeated the likes of Joey Villasenor and Frank Trigg. I expect Lawler to box with Rua until Ninja realizes that’s a bad idea. Lawler has always been susceptible to submissions but Ninja doesn’t have the power to KO Lawler like Nick Diaz did. The fight will go to the ground at some point and Rua will work to a submission victory

Nick Diaz vs. Mike Aina

Diaz is an exciting, albeit controversial, fighter. Nick is the older brother of The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner Nate Diaz. Nick’s last fight was a Fight of the Year candidate with Takanori Gomi. Diaz wrapped Gomi in a gogoplata for the win but the fight was later ruled a No Contest when Diaz tested positive for the mary jane. Nick shouldn’t have too much trouble with his opponent Mike Aina, a pupil of BJ Penn. Aina may try to swing with Diaz but Diaz is just too well-rounded to get beat by Aina. Nick could beat Aina in several different ways, it just depends on which opportunity presents itself. Let’s go with Diaz by rear naked choke.

Joey Villasenor vs. Riki Fukuda

It wouldn’t be an EliteXC show without Joey Villasenor. This time he takes on Riki Fukuda, a solid striker out of Japan. I think EliteXC has gotten all they can out of Joey Villasenor. He’s a good guy and a tough fighter but no one to really build a division around. Fukuda is young and strong and I look for him to make a name for himself with a KO of Villasenor.

Jake Shields vs. Renato Verissimo

Shields appears to be EliteXC’s golden boy. Kind of like Michael Bisping in the UFC. He is being groomed for a title and fed easy opposition. Considering EliteXC doesn’t have a 170 lb title yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shields’ next fight was for a welterweight belt. Verissimo had a short run with the UFC, defeating Carlos Newton in 2004 but lost to both Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg later in the year. Trigg knocked him out; as have two other fighters since then. Shields should send Verissimo to the same fate and grab the win via knockout.

Gina Carano vs. Tonya Evinger

Speaking of knockouts, everyone’s favorite female fighter returns to EliteXC as Gina Carano battles Tonya Evinger. Carano is to the female division what Shields is to the welterweights. So does that mean she’s a golden girl? Carano participated in the fight of the night last time she fought and this go-round may not be any different. The result won’t be any different either as Carano ought to win a decision.

Stay with Inside Fights for a full review of the action Saturday night.

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